Marriage…the real deal

This is a personal post, more a release of my own thoughts and yes while some of what I am about to say is raw, please know that everything that is on my mind has indeed been discussed with my husband.

Marriage, its that thing that many women dream about, from the time women are young girls somehow our culture has brought home the thought that one day you will wear a big white dress and walk down an aisle to your own prince charming, exchange promises to love, honor and maybe even obey. There might even big a party and afterwards you will  live happily ever after, maybe even have a couple kids, a house and be together until death do you part.

Problem with this thought is that its pure fantasy, everyone thinks about the wedding, the dress and all that other shit but very little detail is focused on the hard day to day work of staying married. I have talked about some of this before but marriage is hard work, its the second hardest job you get when it comes to personal relationships aside from raising kids.

I am going to be honest, I am in a rut. The spousal unit and I have been married 11 years, it will be 12 this fall…up until a few years ago, our marriage seemed perfect. I married a man who is my best friend and make no mistake he still is my best friend. There is nothing I cannot share with him hence why what I am writing is not new to him but the reality is that the challenges of living with less money thus the ability to take that occasional trip is now gone and just doing fun things is pretty non-existant, then you add to the mix we are raising the kids and you add aging ….well, its a recipe for feeling like BB King’s oldie but goodie “The Thrill is Gone”.

I don’t think the thrill is really gone its just that in the real world of marriage and relationships, sometimes there isn’t going to be a thrill….sometimes its going to feel like the most boring job in the world. You know that good steady job that isn’t exciting but pays damn well so you know you need to stay.

However there are times when temptation enters the picture, this is going to sound strange to anyone who doesn’t personally know us which is most of my readers but my mate is a few years older than me, so he has already crossed that 40’s threshold where I have a few more years to go, in case you care to know I am 36. Regular readers also know that the spousal unit is white and I am not…we are facing a strange scenario where the hubby is not aging as gracefully as me, we both attribute this to our respective gene pools. I look like I am in my 20’s and the hubby does not. Truthfully its hard for me watching him age less gracefully than what I am used to in my own family of origin, my Pops is almost 60 but still has a head full of hair whereas my husband is bald because the male pattern baldness was so bad that trying to keep what hair he had was not working anymore.

Now, I know I may sound vain as hell but the reality is its hard for me and well this is where my mind wanders and wonders, no I have no desire to step out on the hubby but since I lost all my weight and now am the size I have spent most of my life at, the reality is temptation seems to be lurking in every corner and I gotta be honest its hard to say no.

Lately I feel as if my soul is is in this death match, there is the angel on one side saying don’t go there and the spirit on the other side saying “Life’s short..go for it”. I made a joke a few days to my husband that I feel like I should never go back home for a visit since temptation would even be worse, of course never visiting family and friends is not feasible but you know what I mean…

My point in sharing this is that marriage is hard work, lately I have been praying daily to recommit myself to my husband and not allow these thoughts to take over but I am reminded that this is much harder than one thinks. I also have realized that many couples that have been married 20, 30, 40 and more years have also faced these same temptations…some give in but many don’t. Yet nobody ever tells couples when they are wrapped up in the love glow that a day may come when you find yourself praying for the strength and courage to stay the course and not stray.

I am also convinced that not all straying is the result of bad feelings, heck I love my husband but what I am battling is independent of him, in some ways its a moral test that I am facing. The one test I have no intentions of  failing but one I never expected to be an issues 11 years ago when I stood in front of my husband and my father (who married us) and pledged my undying love.

Beyonce recently came out with a song telling the single ladies to get a ring, well I say before you get that ring think about what the journey of marriage will entail, its more than rings and dresses…its a journey that can reveal who you are at your deepest core.

22 thoughts on “Marriage…the real deal”

  1. Hmmmm…did I come off looking bad in this? Had to re-read it and didn’t see anything that really slammed me. I freely admit I ain’t the handsomest guy around, but probably the worst thing said in here is that my attractiveness quotient ain’t keepin’ up with the wife’s.

    I think she’s commented enough around here on the nice things about me. I can live with a little bit of personal getting shared as long as it gets people thinking and talking amongst themselves if needed.

  2. Your husband is really understanding. I don’t think I would have been comfortable with this much info about my life on the web. Particularly not if I was coming off looking bad.

    Well, keep praying. That, plus hard work, always seems to solve my problems.

  3. The honesty of this made me catch my breath a little. Okay, a lot. The honesty and respect of your husband’s response made me tear up too.

    I hear you, feel you both and pray for you two to find what you need in each other. There are days when I ask myself if I have indeed adjusted my priorities or is that just another way of denying that I’ve settled. Made do with what I have.

    The answer is that it depends on the day and how well my family is coping and enjoying each other. That’s part of the equation for me. The fact that I’ve made a commitment to all of us, not just myself but that I’m at the center of us and if we don’t take care of each other then we all fall. I know this in part because my first marriage failed, I failed, my ex failed and our children bear the scars.

    Now I’ve got another chance to to do it right for the long haul. My children see what it’s like to hash it out with love and respect and laughs and even anger that gets discussed and resolved. And yes, there are days when I wonder if I was really meant to do this. To be a grownup for the rest of my life.

    It’s been about five years now since my guy uprooted himself from his life and his career to make new start with us. At age 36, it was no joke and he’s only now seeing some real hope of success, only to have this economy bottom out. We don’t have as much fun time as we hoped for, the kids know a lot about what we can and can’t afford to do, I watch the grey hairs continue to multiply and try to ignore how my thighs aren’t as firm as they once were. I look at my man and see his cuteness turn into something that probably wouldn’t turn another woman’s head. There are times that I have to remind myself to fake it till I make it.

    The key is that we both do it. The faking it till we make it, the conscious effort that results in something good, or at least good enough to get us through the rough patch. It does sound like you’ve got that too. The partnership and devotion to a better time for all of you. I hope that it’s enough, for all of us that have made this promise to stay with each other even through the drudgery and the acknowledgment that there are newer and prettier partners out there for the picking but if we leave with the one that brought us, there’s still magic when the clock strikes midnight.

  4. Good for you to post this life and love reflection. My folks celebrated 60 years of marriage and they always amaze me with their love for life, they say it is all about the little things that add up to make it big. Take time to look at the little things that made you fall in love.
    My son when he was a wee lad, looked at my Mom and Dad’s wedding photo, and said” Grandma, what happened” as she was telling him about her wedding day. I guess each of us wake up and say, what happened.
    Your spousal unit comment is well worth all the years, hang in there, he sounds like a keeper.

  5. A thousand thank you’s for writing out loud what so many women (and men) feel. The “hard work” theory of marriage has done us all a huge disservice, led us down such dark alleys.

    I have written a very similar story to yours, but I wrote mine 20 years after I asked my best friend for a divorce because the “work” seemed like more than I could bear, more than I ought to have to bear. And I wrote it because I know now, with deep conviction born of terrible grief, that the hard work was my mistake, not the marriage.

    My story:

    My free teleclasses and a contact form for emails to me from anyone stuck in the hard work trap:

    There is a way back, and it sure sounds like your guy is worth it. Thank you for posting this.

  6. I read your posts day to day and this one took my breathe away. I can only agree that, unlike animals, we can control our minds but even our minds begin to play tricks on us. One moment you think you are strong until you find yourself rationalizing your thoughts and your reasons why.

    I do not think you sound vain at all but painfully honest which must hurt you to even admit. I will keep you guys in my prayers as well. And, to BGIM’s Spousal Unit, I don’t think I could have read this if I were you so you must be a strong man as well.

  7. Read this post this morning and have been thinking on it all day.

    I’ve been married 5 years now and sometimes it just baffling to me how folks do this for 30 years, 40 years, 50 years. How?

    The hubby and I have about 7 years difference between us. I say things to the hubby like, “Oh, the baby is almost old enough where we can leave him with someone and go party” and he’s all like, “I don’t want to party; I want to stay home.” And I think to myself, “I’m 27. In good shape. Look dang good all things considered. I want to go have a good time and dance and party.” Then I wonder . . . will I have to find someone else to party with . . . Of course not but . . . I think it’s natural for the mind to wander. What makes us different from animals though is that our mind can wander all it wants. We are in control at the end of the day.

    Yeah, I think if folks knew what was involved in marriage ahead of time, they’d put a heck of a lot more thought into it. It is not easy at all. At all. I try to be very real with those I know who are not married yet. Just like I’m real about pregnancy and childbirth and a myriad of other real isht. Why romanticize these things? Give folks a heads up so they can get their head in the game.

    I’m keeping you (and the spousal unit) in my meditations. BTW, BGIM’s Spousal Unit, you sound like a great, really great guy.

  8. Well, Beyonce’s song is really about a woman chiding her ex-flame not to be jealous if she is with someone else. If he was so into her, then he should have “put a ring on it.”

    Thanks for this honest post. Not too many people talk about this side of marriage. At least, not to me. Most married people I know are young marrieds, so maybe they haven’t hit any dry spots yet, and if they have, they front well. Not that it’s my business.

  9. In case anyone’s wondering, the wife passed this by me first to make sure she wasn’t going to wound me with a “too much information” post or anything.

    I’m OK with all of this, though I’m not sure I need to be reminded that she has so many more options for straying than I do. 😉 I’ll have to check with my stepson to find out if he still sees young cashiers and checkers scoping me out. 😛

    Anyway, this is a challenge. I will say that for my part, I may not have kept myself up as well as I could have (body, skin, etc.) but, in my defense, I’ve been putting my family’s needs before mine, for better or worse. I don’t say that as a shot back at my wife or anything; just a recognition (and a point to make to others reading this) that sometimes, men don’t let themselves slide because they’re lazy or think it doesn’t matter once they have a woman. Sometimes, it’s because we feel that we need to make the sacrifices so that everyone else can be OK, at those times when resources don’t allow for everyone to get what they need or want. And this isn’t solely a male thing, either…plenty of women do the same thing, especially if they’re single-parenting. I know my mom did.

    Anyway, I do hope that I can find the sparks and fan them for you, my love…and I’ll do what I can to stem the aging process just enough (and step up any of my other “talents” as needed) to keep your mind from drifting.

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